Blogs Widely Promoted but Relatively Few in the Industry Are Doing It
According to the findings of a recent survey of more than 1,100 PR execs in the U.S. and Great Britain, most agree blogging is important, but relatively few actually participate. The survey conducted by Peppercom Communications and the Bulldog Reporter, was originally designed to find out which country was more advanced in digital marketing. However, consequently a totally different picture emerged.
"Originally, the purpose was to compare and contrast blogging communication practices in the U.S. and the U.K. and identify best practices," said Steve Cody, managing partner and co-founder of Peppercom. "Surprisingly, what was revealed was a level playing field across both countries where a select few are diving into social media, and most are hesitant to start the process."
Among the findings, 84 percent in the U.S. and 74 percent in the U.K. believe blogs have the ability to share information quickly and broadly; and 74 percent in the U.S. and 65 percent in the U.K. believe blogs pose the opportunity to influence public opinion and decision making.
However, 87 percent in the U.S. and 82 percent in the U.K. admit that they (or their clients) do not have an official company blogging policy; and only 37 percent in the United States and 36 percent in the United Kingdom are actually blogging on behalf of their company or client. In fact, 49 percent of respondents don't even bother to monitor blogs; and 63 percent have not adapted their communications strategy to include blogs, message boards, and other forms of digital media.
"The lack of blogging policies speaks to the fact that social media is just not being taken seriously," said Cody.
Even among the respondents claiming to have company blogs, the PR departments at many of these organizations don't take an active role. Fifty-four percent of respondents are not involved in the writing, creative or approval process for corporate blogs.
"Ultimately, what this survey revealed was a need for communication professionals in both countries to step up to the plate and start integrating blogging practices into their strategic approach," said Jacki Vause, managing director of Peppercom's London office. "No one is denying the power of blogs. Now is the time to employ them or risk losing PR's place at the table when it comes to these types of decisions."
WHY THE RELUCTANCE?
One respondent who begged to remain anonymous said, "108 percent of the respondents are scared to death of having their heads handed to them for exposing their companies to the shit storms that corporate blogs invariably invite. 'Risk losing PR's place at the table,' fuck that! I am afraid of losing my house, my boat, my wife and kids and everything else I've ever worked for."